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Author Archive for Lauren Lavin

10 Classic Books That Are Also Comics

One of the many things to love about comic books is that they’re one of the most democratic forms of literature: easily-distributed, quick to understand and share, using images to cut through the fat of written narrative. But they’re so much more than just dumbed-down books, MOM. The images in a comic book are literature in their own right, telling stories that have the ability to transcend written language (you could say cave paintings are the first recorded stories, after all).

There are a lot of reasons why someone might choose to adapt a classic written work into a graphic novel. It could be an attempt to convince The Youth™ that reading can be cool, or maybe it’s the desire to refresh an older work and remind contemporary audiences why that work still matters. It could serve to reinforce the power of sequential arts and comic books as legitimate literary forms, or as an ambitious experiment in illustrating complex prose and themes. Whatever the motivation, the results are frequently spectacular, as seen in the examples ahead.

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10 Classic Books That Are Also Comics

One of the many things to love about comic books is that they’re one of the most democratic forms of literature: easily-distributed, quick to understand and share, using images to cut through the fat of written narrative. But they’re so much more than just dumbed-down books, MOM. The images in a comic book are literature in their own right, telling stories that have the ability to transcend written language (you could say cave paintings are the first recorded stories, after all).

There are a lot of reasons why someone might choose to adapt a classic written work into a graphic novel. It could be an attempt to convince The Youth™ that reading can be cool, or maybe it’s the desire to refresh an older work and remind contemporary audiences why that work still matters. It could serve to reinforce the power of sequential arts and comic books as legitimate literary forms, or as an ambitious experiment in illustrating complex prose and themes. Whatever the motivation, the results are frequently spectacular, as seen in the examples ahead.

Continue reading…

This Comic Belongs on Your Horror Movie Binge List

Now that it’s October 31st, Halloween devotees might be winding down on their horror must-watch lists, but there’s one more essential piece of frightful storytelling you should experience: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 3 (issues 35-41 of the Swamp Thing series, previously collected and published as Swamp Thing Vol. 3: The Curse). The entire series is a fantastic example of the pulp/horror genre, but this story arc is one of the best works to come from the brilliant collaborative team of writer Alan Moore and artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, certainly deserving of a place on your shelf between classic Frankenstein movies and Tales From the Crypt DVDs.

Some background information is helpful, but for the most part you’d be fine diving into the series at the point that Book 3 begins. Anthropomorphic vegetable swamp creature Alec just wants to protect his fellow humans, animals, and earth from threats to their existence, which usually take the shape of big game hunters, power-hungry scientists, and supernatural entities. That’s about it in a nutshell. From Book 3’s exciting plot featuring updated classic horror monsters to its mindblowing (and occasionally stomach-churning) artwork, below we’ve outlined a few of the reasons you should spend some valuable Halloween hours on this series, and give your Cronenberg and Carpenter films a much-deserved rest.

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X-Men: A Brief History of Mutant Hunters

Listen up, bub! The Gifted, the new X-Men television series, premieres on FOX this October 2. Bonus good news: The pilot was directed by none other than Bryan Singer, the man we thank daily for, shall we say, most of the watchable X-Men films (Singer is also a producer of the show). The series is centered on a family who, upon discovering the mutant abilities of their two children, must flee the government and go on the run, becoming hunted along with other persecuted mutants as they fight to survive.

In a refreshing spin, the show may largely ignore the X-Men (or at least, the more popular ones you’re used to seeing), the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and the other usual suspects from that universe, giving audiences the chance to see ordinary folks coming to grips with their powers. While we don’t know a ton of details about the new series yet, we can probably expect at the very least to see the robotic Sentinels used as enforcers against the growing mutant population, as well as a Morlock-esque mutant underground railroad.

Continue reading…

X-Men: A Brief History of Mutant Hunters

Listen up, bub! The Gifted, the new X-Men television series, premieres on FOX this October 2. Bonus good news: The pilot was directed by none other than Bryan Singer, the man we thank daily for, shall we say, most of the watchable X-Men films (Singer is also a producer of the show). The series is centered on a family who, upon discovering the mutant abilities of their two children, must flee the government and go on the run, becoming hunted along with other persecuted mutants as they fight to survive.

In a refreshing spin, the show may largely ignore the X-Men (or at least, the more popular ones you’re used to seeing), the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and the other usual suspects from that universe, giving audiences the chance to see ordinary folks coming to grips with their powers. While we don’t know a ton of details about the new series yet, we can probably expect at the very least to see the robotic Sentinels used as enforcers against the growing mutant population, as well as a Morlock-esque mutant underground railroad.

Continue reading…

Why You Should Be Excited Peter Serafinowicz is The Tick

He is the wild blue yonder. The front line in a never-ending battle between good and not-so-good. He is The Tick, and now, he’s played by low-key comedy genius Peter Serafinowicz in Amazon’s new live-action series.

For fans of older iterations of the satirical blue superhero, it may be difficult to envision the British actor, whose recognition this side of the pond isn’t quite where it deserves to be, in the same shoes as Patrick Warburton, whose pitch-perfect cartoonish take on the character made the tragically short-lived tv show a cult favorite (and worthy successor to the 1994 animated series, featuring Townsend Coleman as the voice of the titular hero).

As discussed in IGN's review of The Tick, Amazon’s take on the show looks to be just as irreverent and surreally hilarious as the story has always required, but with a slightly grimmer edge. But lest you worry this is just the latest attempt to grab cash by ramping up the violence of a comic book story, or that Serafinowicz couldn’t possibly measure up to Warburton’s timeless turn as The Tick, ahead we’ve got irrefutable proof that the British comedy veteran has got what it takes to pound two-fisted justice into the hearts of evildoers everywhere.

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Valerian: What You Need to Know

Of all the upcoming comic-book movies currently in the works, there’s one in particular that’s not just an adaptation of a legendary series but also looks like it could be the most thrilling addition to the genre in some time. I’m talking, of course, about Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, set for release on July 21. The film, which stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, is the most expensive ever produced in France, and is a lifelong passion project of co-producer, writer, and director Luc Besson.

Valerian is based on the French comic series Valerian and Laureline by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières, which ran from 1967 to 2010 and was a highly influential work in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Read on to find out more about the comics and what we should expect from the film (on top of the already gorgeous special effects we’ve seen in the trailers). There will be SPOILERS from the comics, although I’ve done my best to avoid giving away too many details of

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Glass: What to Look for in the Unbreakable/Split Sequel

Rejoice, long-time Unbreakable fans (the ones for whom even M. Night Shyamalan couldn’t ruin M. Night Shyamalan)! After 17 years of anticipation, we’re finally getting a sequel to Unbreakable, as well as this year’s Split.

Be warned: Spoilers follow for Split if you haven’t seen it yet…

After revealing -- via a classic twist ending and an uncredited cameo by Bruce Willis in Split -- that the two films take place in the same universe, the writer/director announced via Twitter recently that a follow-up to both films, titled Glass, will be released January 18, 2019. Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy are all set to reprise their roles in the upcoming film.

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Star Wars: How the Jedi’s Failings Might’ve Inspired Luke to End the Order

Recently, the world was gifted with the first teaser for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and we all learned for the first time about Luke Skywalker’s newfound antipathy toward the Jedi Order with his line, “I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

The internet has been abuzz ever since the trailer dropped, piling on theories about Luke’s statement, philosophical thinkpieces, speculation about the Gray Jedi and the Order of the Whills, and so much more. And we at IGN of course have our own take on Luke’s new outlook, so let’s delve a little deeper into some of the failures of the Jedi Order and the Old Republic which might be informing Luke’s philosophy -- the times those ancient organizations took a swing and missed. We’ll also take a look at the trajectory of these failings, leading up to Luke’s current status as a refugee from the battle between the Dark side of the Force, and the Light.

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